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Season 1, episode 12
Series 112
1st release: 01/15/96
2nd release: 04/08/96
3rd release: 12/16/96
1st strip release: 08/18/98
2nd strip release: 11/16/98
Production number: 76914
Script number: 114
Approximate shooting dates: November 1995
Last update: 03-11-00

SYNOPSIS by Kym Masera Taborn
COMMENTARY by Kym Masera Taborn

Galyn Goerg (Helen)
Scott Garrison (Perdicas)
Cameron Rhodes (Deiphobus)
Warren Carl (Paris)

Ken Blackburn (King Menelaus)
Adrian Keeling (Miltiades)
Aidan MacBride Stewart (Greek Soldier)
John Manning (Greek Scout)
Matthew Jeffs (Trojan Soldier #1)
Peter Ford (Trojan Soldier #2)
Geoffrey Knight (Trojan Guard)

Teleplay by Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster
Story by Roy Thomas and Janis Hendler
Edited by Jim Prior
Directed by T.J. Scott.

At the behest of Helen of Troy, Xena goes to the embattled city to help end a 10-year war with the Greeks. But while trying to rein in the hostilities, she discovers a Trojan horse who's working with the enemy.

Xena joins the climatic battle between the warring Greeks and Trojans that is precipitated by the false peace offering of the Trojan horse.

Gabrielle is reunited with an old flame when she and Xena travel to Troy.

Helen of Troy summons Xena to help end the Trojan War.

1st RELEASE: 01/15/96
An AA average of 6.1
Highest rating until 2nd season's INTIMATE STRANGER released 11/11/96
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) HERCULES 5th with 7.5
(2) XENA 12th with 6.1
(3) STAR TREK DS9 16th with 5.2

2nd RELEASE: 04/08/96
An AA average of 4.5
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) STAR TREK DS9 6th with 5.8
(2) HERCULES 9th with 5.2
(3) XENA 14th with 4.5
(4) BAYWATCH 16th with 4.4

3rd RELEASE: 12/16/96
An AA average of 4.6
Competition from Syndicated Action Dramas:
(1) HERCULES 10th with 5.1
(2) XENA 14th with 4.6
(3) BAYWATCH 16th with 4.3
(4) STAR TREK DS9 21st with 4.1


Xena compelled to visit her pal Helen at Troy midst the Trojan War finds Helen suffering from violent nightmares. After Xena and Gabrielle fight their way to the city walls, Gabrielle discovers that her ex-fiance Perdicas, literally a different man and all buffed up, is fighting for Troy. Gabrielle had left him when she decided to carry on with Xena. She now is impressed with the new body and personality. Meanwhile, Xena and Helen play catch up in each other's lives and Xena finds out that Helen is not happy with Paris or Troy. Helen feels, just so, confined by it all.

Deiphobus, the captain of the guards and Paris' brother (Paris being Helen's lover), then wheels in a big bamboo horse stating that the Greeks have left. Turns out that Deiphobus is working with the enemy and the horse is filled with Greeks. Xena suspects, and gets enough people worried about it, that they all hole up in a Temple. Deiphobus kills Paris so he can have Helen (dating was much more vicious back then).

After the Greeks exit the horse and take the city, they pull the horse out of the city's gates. Luckily, the gang found refuge in the horse and now can escape. Xena notices Deiphobus trying to escape as well with Helen. She has a nasty fight with Deiphobus who is, as most of Xena's foes are, eventually kabobed. Perdicas dumps Gabrielle in order to escort Helen safely to the nearest city facilities (yeah, right!)

Gabrielle later marries Perdicas in THE RETURN OF CALLISTO. Perdicas, of course, dies a messy death, but at least he gets to mate with Gabrielle before leaving this mortal plane. RETURN was also directed by T.J. Scott.


Cited by Ms. Magazine as one of the more feminist episodes of XWP because of some dialog shared between Xena and Helen of Troy ("Xena to Helen of Troy: 'What do you want to do?' Helen: 'No one's ever asked me that before!'), XWP is clearly not your run-of-the-mill traditional woman superhero show.

First of all, Xena is not a superhero. She's good because she's good, not because of magic, being born under a different colored sun, or scientific enhancements. This observation was challenged in an early script version of THE FURIES (#47) where Xena's paternity was challenged. However, later script rewrites made the statement that Ares was Xena's father, into a more ambigious statement that Xena made the Furies THINK he was her father in order to get them off her back. At this point in the Xenaverse, Xena is not a demigod.

Second, Xena has no permanent male in residence who sticks around in order to save her. Neither does she have a temporary male who does the same (well, baring Hercules, but, heck, he's a demigod afterall -- but then all the fights they have had ended in a draw, except the time Xena knocked him out in an unfair move in "Prometheus".) This, of course, changes in a bizarre way when Joxer was interoduced as a regular character in the second season. But his function apparently is that of the court jester or fool, and not as the protector and defender of Xena, although the character often calls himself that.

If there was any saving to be done, it was by Xena, and during the first season, Xena was usually saving Gabrielle. Xena kept Gabrielle around not just for someone to talk to at the campsite at night or to feed her horse, but to rescue as well. Apparently Xena did not need a man. It also appeared that Helen might be thinking the same thing, after she was through with Perdicas, of course.

Perdicas returned to Gabrielle's life not just a new man, but as a new actor as well. The new and improved Perdicas would return to Gabrielle a total mess in RETURN OF CALLISTO (#29) where he would talk Gabrielle into marrying him and have Callisto ka-bob him all in one rather intense 24 hour period. What a guy.


01-30-98. In an upcoming WHOOSH interview with Maggie Hickerson, the script coordinator for XWP (tentatively scheduledto run in March 1998), Ms. Hickerson reminscinces about Galyn Gorg's audition. "We don't get to see the people audition for roles because they don't usually do that at our offices. The only time they had a casting session in our offices was for the women to play Helen of Troy. The writer's assistant and myself were pretty biased toward the woman who actually got the role. He had worked with her before so when she came in she was the one who talked to us. All the others were focused on the lines they had to say but she [Galyn Georg] was more relaxed and said "Oh, I haven't seen you since we worked on M.A.N.T.I.S.' She was friendly and they were obviously all attractive women so if you went just by looks they were all suitable. But she was more relaxed and confident and ended up getting the role."


Changing Times is by Debbie White.

In GREEKS, Xena goes against her own countrymen to help an old friend whom she had parted with previously on bad terms, and Gabrielle changes how she thinks about her once-betrothed, Perdicas.

The Changing Xena

Xena is not thinking even remotely about visiting Troy until she sees and attempts to save a man being attacked on the road. The man is a servant of Helen of Troy, bringing a message that Helen needs Xena's help. We learn later that although Xena and Helen left each other on poor terms the last time they met, they were still friends. Since we have never seen Helen before this episode, we must assume that they were friends before Xena turned good, or during the time she was good before SINS OF THE PAST (#01). Thus Helen, kind of like Marcus, is most likely a friend Xena made when she was evil, but is still friendly towards now that she is fighting for good. Apparently, Xena is loyal enough to her friends that she even is willing to fight to get to them and then fight against her own countrymen to further assist them. When Xena finds Helen, Xena hugs her. Xena, who hardly lets anyone near her, let alone hug her, is comfortable enough around Helen to let her get that close.

Xena shows off some interesting sides to her personality during this episode. First, Gabrielle is getting nervous about running through a war zone to get to Troy. Xena says, "Are your boots laced?" right before dashing off. What a way to distract a person from their fear!

Second, once inside and ready to go find Helen, Perdicas mentioned Xena should see Deiphobus first. Not knowing if that name was male or female, she asks, "Who's she?" and assumes the unknown person is female rather than male. Xena shows here that she does not think being a female warrior is at all limited to herself and seems also to expect more of them. That or she is giving Perdicas a hard time.

Third, when Xena finds Helen, she refuses to take her back to King Menelaus. Instead, Xena tries to get Helen to leave, since the war stopped being about Helen. Leave it to Xena to see when a war's cause has turned into an excuse and it is time just to leave if you do not like it. Again, Xena encourages Helen to go out and be and do what she wants instead of letting others run her life.

Though Xena was her usual creative and quick-thinking self, she did something rather surprising. When the guards try to capture Xena, and Deiphobus is holding a dagger near Helen's back, Xena allows herself be captured despite the fact she knows something is not right and she does not know for sure that she can get free. Impossible odds have never stopped Xena from freeing a person before, so why did she let the guards take her? It seems like whenever the person in danger is someone she really cares about, she freezes some or gives up, like her chakram was too late to save Marcus in THE PATH NOT TAKEN (#05). Is this Xena's 'fatal flaw'?

For those people who think Xena never gets frightened, take a look at her face when she is in jail and the big Greek just stepped into her cell. Xena looks frightened, but that does not stop her from then smiling and looking like, if not really, enjoying the fight.

Finally, we learn a little bit more about how Xena thinks of Gabrielle. When Perdicas thanks Xena for taking care of her, she replies, "It's no problem, she's like family."

The Changing Gabrielle

Gabrielle shows off her courage and loyalty once again. Xena decides to go to Troy during a war? Of course, Gabrielle is right beside her even though she is scared. Xena is going to fight against the Greeks for a while? That means Gabrielle follows the lead. Gabrielle really trusts Xena's judgement by this time.

Gabrielle also shows off her romantic side in this episode. It starts off when she wants to stop by Troy because Helen, 'who launched a thousand ships' was there. Forget the fact these were warships. When Gabrielle finds out that Perdicas is fighting at Troy because it is a 'war for love,' she says he is doing that because she told him tales, and she takes the responsibility for making war seem romantic.

We learn quite a bit about Gabrielle through her interaction with Perdicas. We find out that when they were young, Gabrielle used to boss Perdicas around. Not only that, but Perdicas would take the blame for things Gabrielle did. He even was slightly accident prone in his efforts to please Gabrielle. So when Gabrielle hears he is fighting this war because it is a war for love, she tells him to go home before he gets hurt. Which he refuses to do.

Perdicas said the last thing he saw of Gabrielle was her leaving town. She left town in the middle of the night, but Perdicas saw her leave. I get the feeling that he saw how she reacted to Xena and, knowing her, thought she might leave. Even learned that Gabrielle does not respect men that let her boss them around. That might have been half the reason why he decided to leave farming and become a soldier. Gabrielle sees that Perdicas is now confident, good at fighting, and deserves respect. That is when she starts to fall in love with him again.

Gabrielle did not say goodbye to Perdicas when she left the village. She did not thank him for always taking the blame for her or seem to really ever think about his feelings at all. Now she thanks him for taking the blame so long ago. She listens to him when he tells her to take cover, then is impressed by how well he handles himself in the fight. She does not even complain to Xena about being left behind when Xena tells her to stay behind with Perdicas. When the Greeks about to break into the temple, Gabrielle goes so far as to say she is sorry about how she treated him and kisses him. In the end, though, Perdicas decides he is not ready to give up his new freedom. Gabrielle sort of stops and mutters that she was going to say the same thing, but had seemed ready to say something else before Perdicas said his words. Gabrielle even lets Perdicas kiss her one last time. Even Xena makes the comment she thought Perdicas was going to join them, but Gabrielle mumbles "no" in response.


Xena somersaulting out of a large bamboo horse is not to be missed.

Coming soon


03-11-00. From Adra Jade. In BEWARE GREEKS BEARING GIFTS, the actor Cameron Rhodes plays Deiphobus, Paris' brother and in KING CON he plays Eldon, Rafe's friend.

From Corinne Heller. In THE RECKONING, Xena plays along with Ares's proposal to bring back anyone she names from the dead and she suggests Hector, Achilles, and Agamenmon, but they're long gone. In BEWARE OF GREEKS, those three people play major parts in the siege of Troy. Oops!


Prepared by SheWho.

There's an in-joke about the new actor playing Perdicas, but the changes in this one aren't all that riveting. One thing that struck me about the script, however, was that the Gabrielle we see on screen was more confident and active in terms of fighting than the scripted Gabrielle, who is essentially non-existent in the fight scenes.

BEWARE GREEKS BEARING GIFTS. Shooting Draft. November 16, 1995. Writing credits TBA. Contributing writers: Roy Thomas and Janis Hendler, Adam Armus & Nora Kay Foster. Directed by T. J. Scott

In the opening exchange between Xena and Gab, rather than saying, "Half an apple, that's it?" Xena asks, "So, how did this happen?" After Gab's stomach growls, Gab says, "I didn't say anything."

[Just an observation of my own: This is the first, and only, episode I can recall where Xena and Gab fight in tandem, a la Hercules and Iolaus. Xena ends up on a guy's shoulders, Gab hits him the stomach, and he falls to his knees. It looked coordinated. The script doesn't suggest much involvement of Gab in this fight; it only mentions a quick tap of two reviving thugs with her "walking stick."]

In the script, Xena and Gabrielle crawl on their bellies to a location where they can see Troy. Interestingly, in the script Xena knocks out, but doesn't kill, any of the attacking soldiers during their run toward the walls of Troy. (She runs her sword through a whole battalion in the televised version.) In the script, when the soldiers attack, "Xena pushes Gabrielle aside" and does all the fighting; there is a lengthy description of Xena fighting, but no mention of Gabrielle, who kicks major butt in the televised version. Rather, the only mention of Gabrielle during their approach to the walls is an indication that "Xena continues to fight the Greek attackers, but their ranks are growing. Two of them spot Gabrielle and move menacingly towards her." [Thankfully, someone thought to portray Gabrielle as something other than a stand-around prop in the screen version.]

Perdicas is described as "a handsome soldier, 20's". [No comment.] [Perdicas was describved as being in his 30s in the SINS OF THE PAST script.]

In the script, Perdicas yells at Gabrielle to get inside, but she remains there wielding her walking stick until Xena calls to her, "Go, Gabrielle! Now!" Then she takes off for the gates.

Early on after meeting the new Perdicas, Gab tells Xena, "I'm telling you, he's not the same. Even his walk is different." Xena replies, "People change, Gabrielle." [This is, of course, an in-joke about a new actor being cast as Perdicas.]

In the televised version, when Perdicas tells Xena she'll have to talk to Deiphobus, Xena says, "Who's she?" The script says, "Who's he?" [I wonder if that was LL's idea.]

A witticism altered: After Perdicas tells Xena that seeing Helen and Paris is against regulations, Xena says, "So am I." In the televised vesion, she says, "That's never bothered me before."

This version of the shooting script indicates that the entire opening exchange between Xena and Helen was rewritten from the original script. So was nearly the entire exchange between Gab and Perdicas in the next scene. D*mn, I'd like to see the original.

In the script, when the archers attack, Perdicas barely saves Gabrielle from being hit by an arrow and tells her to take cover, since apparently she's too stupid to protect herself from obvious dangers. The line from Perdicas as he shoots the archer -- "This is for my friend!" -- is not in the script.

When Xena and Gab walk together, talking about Helen's request to be returned to Menelaus, the little goodbye hand squeeze is not in the script.

Xena's characterization of Deiphobus as a "scum-sucking opportunist" during their confrontation in the jail isn't in the script; rather, she simply asks Deiphobus what he gets out of all this.

When Perdicas tells Gab that he's glad they found each other again, she "smiles, a little embarrassed, but very much taken with him."

Outside the gates, Perdicas jumps out of the horse just after Xena; Gabrielle's great leap from the horse immediately afterward isn't in the script. In the script, after Xena and Perd jump out of the horse, a Greek soldier raises his sword behind Perdicas, but Gabrielle conks him with her staff. Scene "widen to include Gabrielle as she stands before the Greek soldier, half proud, half petrified. She smiles at Perdicas who looks back at her, incredulously. Gabrielle responds with a shrug." [Note: Gab does quite a bit of fighting in the televised version, almost none of which is indicated in the script.]

Xena's suggestion to the injured Greek soldier, "Run for your miserable lives," isn't in the script.

In the televised version, Xena places Helen's crown on the unconscious Deiphobus; in the script, it's one of Helen's veils. Rather than saying, "Very nice," she says, "Let him try to explain this."

The final exchange between Gab and Perdicas begins,

Gabrielle: "So, where are you going now?"

Perd: "I don't know. I thought I might see the world."

Gabrielle: "That sounds like fun."

His prediction that they'll see each other again some day is followed by a hug, not another nauseating kiss.

The final hug between Xena and Helen is described as a "sisterly hug."


Click here to read a transcript of BEWARE GREEKS BEARING GIFTS.


No Oversized Polynesian-Style Bamboo Horses were harmed during the production of this motion picture. However, many wicker lawn chairs gave their lives.

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